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Carfree concept mapping with Google Earth

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  • Matt Hohmeister
    I just recently downloaded Google Earth and have spent quite a bit of time looking at the satellite pics of places I used to live, work, and go to classes. As
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 21, 2006
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      I just recently downloaded Google Earth and have spent quite a bit of
      time looking at the satellite pics of places I used to live, work, and
      go to classes.

      As I was looking at all these places, I started thinking in my mind
      about how these places could be converted to carfree areas without
      having to demolish any existing buildings or even take any private
      property. Obviously, property owners in the area will convert their
      parking lots into green space--or most likely, will sell their parking
      lots to a developer or develop over the parking lots themselves.

      I want to put some of these maps online with notations showing my
      ideas of converting to carfree areas. First, some questions--namely
      for Joel, but anyone could answer them:

      - To cut-and-cover a heavy-rail, two-track metro on an existing
      street, how much width is required for the tracks? How much width and
      length do we need for a station? What is the minimum turn radius for
      heavy-rail metro?

      - Same thing for on-street light rail. Track width? Track plus
      platform width? Turn radius?

      - Just a quick check, but would the readers here prefer I use feet or
      meters? I might be in the USA, but I'm comfortable either way. ;-)

      I used to live in a three-story, 35-unit apartment building with
      commercial within walking distance, and I feel that the area around it
      would be ideal to a carfree development, assuming that there was
      enough public spine to actually do it.

      I currently live in a two-story, three-unit apartment building, again
      with commercial within walking distance. For reasons of personal
      privacy, I won't be doing carfree concept mappings for where I live
      now. :-)

      Thanks

      matt
    • Tony Brewer
      ... Obviously clearances vary depending on width and length of rolling stock and whether there are masts for overhead electrification. Here in the UK, the
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 22, 2006
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        Matt Hohmeister wrote:

        > <snip>
        > - To cut-and-cover a heavy-rail, two-track metro on an existing
        > street, how much width is required for the tracks?

        Obviously clearances vary depending on width and length of rolling stock and
        whether there are masts for overhead electrification. Here in the UK, the
        usual minimum width of straight, double-track, standard-gauge lines in
        tunnels and between overbridge abutments and viaduct parapets is 26' (8m).
        I'd say 26-30' (8-9m) minimum.

        > How much width and length do we need for a station?

        By convention, the length of a station is a bit more than the length of the
        longest train that stops there. Sorry for not being more specific! :-)
        Width depends on how many passengers use the station, but minimum of 8'
        (2.5m) for side platforms, more for island platforms.

        > What is the minimum turn radius for heavy-rail metro?

        The traditional unit of length for UK railways (and roads) is the chain (22
        yards or 66 feet). This is a very useful length because one chain is almost
        exactly 20 metres.

        Usual minimum radii for heavy rail in the UK are 7.5-10 chains (495-660' /
        150-200m).

        > Same thing for on-street light rail. Track width?

        A single-track, standard-gauge light rail line fits comfortably in a 12'
        (3.65m) traffic lane.

        > Track plus platform width?

        See above.

        > Turn radius?

        For standard-gauge LRT lines, 25m (80') minimum, but can be as low as 15m
        (50'). More width is needed on sharp curves than on tangent track.

        Tony Brewer
      • Matt Hohmeister
        I have been looking at a satellite image of the area around an apartment I used to live in, and I ve made some comments about how I feel the area could be
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 20, 2006
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          I have been looking at a satellite image of the area around an
          apartment I used to live in, and I've made some comments about how I
          feel the area could be converted to carfree. Comments welcome/encouraged!

          http://mahohmei.com/carfree/
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